The summer holiday is over and there are already a lot of developments to be reported.

Trees

Unfortunately, we have lost the legal proceeding about the maintenance of the trees on the quaysides. Fortunately, this fight has also yielded positive results: the truth about the failing maintenance of the quays has become clear and it is obvious that the decision to cut down the trees was not based on any facts. Now, the municipality has been provided with an enormous amount of alternative building methods, and the municipality has investigated these, thanks to which the chance has increased that the trees will be saved on other quays in The Hague. In addition, it has become clear – also due to our protest – that the trees are much more valuable for the inhabitants than the municipality thought they would be. Therefore, I have high hopes that they will treat our trees with much more care in the future.

I hope that the municipality will now get going with these works very quickly, so that the inhabitants and entrepreneurs living and working on the quays will be troubled as briefly as possible by the fences that are placed because of the instable quay walls. (Although they have been vastly improved.)

Outdoor cafe Prins Hendrikplein

Using a so-called ‘crumble procedure’, the municipality is trying to grant dispensation from the zoning plan to the outdoor cafe on the Prins Hendrikplein. In doing so, the municipality completely ignores the agreements that have been made about this, during the formation of this zoning plan. This means that again we have to institute all sorts of objection procedures and, if necessary, more lawsuits. This would not have been necessary if the municipality had just stuck to the agreements made.

Environmental permit

Something completely different, but actually very much the same, is the fact that the De Groene Eland has objected to the line of argumentation as used for the environmental permit decree of the Laan van Meerdervoort 92. In this decree the municipality states the following: “De Laan van Meerdervoort is a connecting route where five floors would be advisable.” This is weird, because exactly there the Laan van Meerdervoort is narrower and does not form part of the Centrumring (Central ring road) and thus actually is not a connecting route. Moreover, this is a cityscape with nationally protected status, where most of the surrounding premises are actually much lower. De Groene Eland will object to this form of ‘occasional argumentation’ which will start leading a life of its own, before we know it.

Furthermore, a lot of applications for subdivision of houses recently have been rejected pursuant to the increasing parking problem, whereas for this decree this does not seem to be a problem, with the argument that parking places can be hired in the immediate vicinity. De Groene Eland would like to have more clarity about the policy of subdivision, the granting of permits, and giving permission to deviate from the Nota Parkeernormen (Policy Document on Parking Standards). This policy should be unequivocal and the same for everyone.

To put it briefly, the holiday is over and certainly for De Groene Eland.

Ludo Geukers
Chairman
Residents’ organisation Zeeheldenkwartier ‘De Groene Eland’

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